Monday, April 27, 2015

Spooky Mo: Horror Stories by Marivi Soliven


Spooky Mo: Horror Stories

Spooky Mo: Horror Stories by Marivi Soliven is a collection of nine short stories based on the Seven Deadly sins -- with a Filipina twist. In each of these stories, Filipino women from different walks of life deal with professional rivals, husband's mistresses, domestic violence, close-minded neighbors. Each woman has her own vices, which range from gluttony to pride, lust to envy.

Throughout this collection, we see the wrath that women are capable of, or as Marivi Soliven reminds us in the introduction, "how we members of the gentler sex can, when provoked, turn into genuinely scary bitches. Consider yourself warned." 

Each story features some supernatural element or another. In "Mananangrrrl", we have Wiccan witches who can detach the upper halves of their bodies from the their lower halves. In "Child's Play", a little girl is invited to live with the folk beneath the tree to get away from her violent father. The supernatural elements can be stripped away to reveal the inner motivations of each individual, from a young dancer disillusioned by the "entertainment" industry of Japan to a fresh widow who is filled with resentment and wrath towards her husband's young and attractive mistress.

As a non-Filipino with a non-Catholic background, I wasn't familiar with some of the words used in titles, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the stories, which provided more than the necessary context needed to understand the gruesome bits of each tale.

I loved all of these stories because even though it's inspired by a Deadly Sin, it was easy to connect with each of the characters--their aspirations, fears, and secrets. I read through one story after the next, thinking, "Oh, it can't possibly beat the story I just finished reading!" I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the last of the stories, "Spooky Mo", a tale with a guest appearance of vagina dentata.

Check out my interview with Marivi Soliven here. 

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